Dons Ladies almost sign off with a double
AFC Wimbledon Ladies came tantalisingly close to earning a final-day double victory and manager Chris Lyons was quick to praise his players for turning around the club’s fortunes.
With the Dons unable to reschedule a game in hand, they had to play two 60-minute matches to conclude the season on Sunday and they ended up with four points from the pair of matches against London Corinthians.
A 2-0 win and a 0-0 draw moved Wimbledon up to third spot in the London & South East Regional Women’s Premier Division and that will be their finishing position unless Fulham FC Foundation round off their campaign with a win.
Chris Lyons said: “When you consider where we were when we started the season, and the quality and resilience we have shown to put any sort of title challenge together, it is a glowing reflection of the quality in this squad. We have pushed all the way and I have nothing but pride for my players and staff. I extend huge amounts of thanks to everyone who has made this season such a significant turnaround.”
Bianca Walker gave Wimbledon a great start in the first match against Corinthians with her superb 25-yard volley putting the Dons 1-0 up after 13 minutes. Zoe Clifford so nearly doubled the advantage before the break.
Manager Lyons shuffled his pack at half-time to rest Caz Bisson and Libby Suchley for the second match. However, that did not stop Wimbledon striking a killer second goal when Clifford finished clinically after latching onto a pass from Walker.
The final match was a frustrating one for the Dons though and their chances were not helped when top scorer Bisson had to come off after feeling unwell.
Wimbledon had to raise their tempo in the second-half if they were to get the win they craved as Corinthians held firm. Manager Lyons made changes at half time, replacing Clare Hedley-Smith and Emma Keady with Clifford and Sian Wylie.
The changes almost paid off immediately with Clifford so nearly breaking the deadlock, before Wimbledon’s inspirational captain Jess Trimnell shot just wide.
Despite both sides going for it in the latter stages, there was no dramatic finish, but Wimbledon could be well satisfied with their much-improved campaign. The four point haul guaranteed a top-four finish just a year after the Dons ended 2013/14 without a league victory and they also won the Surrey Women’s Cup against Carshalton Athletic.
The picture above shows (left to right) Sian Wylie, Caz Bisson and Linsey Clarke with the Surrey Women's Cup.